Research confirms: Men who abuse women online are actual losers

Photo by Kerem Tapani Gültekin (Flickr)

New in the “Did we really need scientific research to confirm this?” category: Men who abuse women on the internet are, quite literally, losers who are compensating for their own poor performance. In a new study, Michael Kasumovic and Jeffrey Kuznekoff, researchers at the University of New South Wales and Miami University, watched how men treated women during 163 playings of the video game Halo 3. Tracking comments the players made to each other, researchers found that men were pretty cordial to each other, no matter their skill level, or how the game went. Those male players who were good at the game also tended to pay compliments to other male and female players. However, the players who were less-skilled at the game and performing worse relative to their peers made frequent, nasty comments to the female gamers. The scientific conclusion researchers reached: Sexist men on the Internet are literally losers. “As men often rely on aggression to maintain their dominant social status,” Kasumovic writes in the study, “the increase in hostility towards a woman by lower-status males may be an attempt to disregard a female’s performance and suppress her disturbance on the hierarchy to retain their social rank.” How these insights could help battle online (or offline) sexism is not clear, but, Kasumovic added, “There are so many more questions we’ve already begun to to ask and our results are looking really interesting.”

Read the full story at The Washington Post.


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